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Rep. Lundy Calls on Gov. Kasich to Release JobsOhio Staff Salaries After Weeks of Controversy over Questionable Practices by the Agency

Large Raises, Questionable Statements and Possible Conflicts of Interest Fuel Ongoing Controversy
May 8, 2013
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS- State Rep. Matt Lundy (D- Elyria) sent a letter to Gov. Kasich today calling on him to voluntarily release the staff salaries for JobsOhio employees, and to clearly identify what criteria was used to set salary levels for staff.  Recent news stories raising questions about the number of former state employees hired by JobsOhio, their large raises, and questionable statements made about JobsOhio not being “restrained by ethics laws” have only fueled controversy and questions surrounding the quasi public-private agency.

“The longer Gov. Kasich and JobsOhio refuse to disclose information about JobsOhio’s questionable practices the more concerning it becomes.  This agency was created by an act of the legislature and is set to receive billions in state liquor profits over the next 25 years, and should be held to the same standards of transparency and accountability as any other state agency receiving billions in state monies,” said Rep. Lundy.

A copy of the letter can be seen below.

May 8, 2013

Governor John Kasich
77 S. High St.
30th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Governor Kasich, 

Recently, concerns have arisen about the transparency of JobsOhio.  These concerns have generated multiple news stories that have shed light on the lack of transparency of this quasi private-public agency, which was created by an act of the legislature to replace the Department of Development.   I write you today to express my deep concerns about this ongoing lack of transparency, specifically with regards to employment practices at JobsOhio.  In your own words the Department of Development was a “black hole,” yet 82 percent of JobsOhio’s employees are former state employees, at least seven of whom worked for the Department of Development.  This coupled with the fact that many received large raises and 59 percent of JobsOhio employees make more than $100,000 a year only serves to add to these very serious concerns.

In the interest of public disclosure, I call on you to voluntarily release the staff salaries for JobsOhio employees, and to clearly identify what criteria was used to set salary levels for staff.   JobsOhio spokeswoman Laura Jones was recently quoted in a Dayton Daily News story as saying that, “JobsOhio is quicker to respond to the needs of businesses, partially because it’s not restrained by ethics laws that restrict state employees from accepting or paying for meals, or from traveling to off-site meetings.”  Statements such as these coupled with possible conflicts of interest by KPMG, and the ongoing refusal to disclose information about state funds received by JobsOhio, only fuels concerns of questionable practices within JobsOhio.   

This agency was created by an act of the legislature, and will receive billions of dollars from state liquor profits over the next 25 years, funds that could have gone to our struggling schools and communities.  As I am sure you are aware this leaves JobsOhio ripe for criticism and possible corruption.  I ask you to help reduce these concerns and questions by holding JobsOhio to the same standards of transparency and accountability as any other state agency receiving billions in state monies.  The people of this great state deserve answers to why JobsOhio’s employees are receiving large raises and salaries when in the month of March, Ohio lost more jobs than any other state in the country and Ohio’s unemployment rate has remained in the 7 percent range since last year.

I stand ready to work with you to put these issues to rest with full transparency of JobsOhio. 

Continued Success,

                                                                       

Matt Lundy
State Representative
55th House District
Ohio House of Representatives

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